Big Ten Medal of Honor Winners Announced
June 9, 2010
Park Ridge, Ill. - The Big Ten Conference office announced on Wednesday the 2010 Medal of Honor winners. The award was established in 1914 when the Big Ten endowed a Medal of Honor to be given annually to a student in the graduating class of each university that demonstrated proficiency in scholarship and athletics. In 1982, the Medal of Honor was expanded to include a senior female athlete from each institution.
This year, 22 student-athletes, representing 13 sports, have been chosen for the Medal of Honor. All of this year's honorees earned Academic All-Big Ten status, while 14 of the recipients were named All-Big Ten selections.
In addition, eight Medal of Honor winners were named Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honorees for their respective sports during the academic year, including Illinois' Angela Bizzarri, Indiana's Ofori Sarkodie Michigan State's Blair White, Minnesota's Jayson Ness, Northwestern's Lauren Lui, Penn State's Jason Yeisley and Ashley Griffith and Purdue's Chris Kramer. Of the more than 270 Sportsmanship Award honorees named throughout the year, Ness and Yeisley were chosen as two of the 22 Outstanding Sportsmanship Award winners announced on June 3.
Athletically, Medal of Honor selections helped guide their teams to two NCAA Championships, four Big Ten Championships and one Big Ten Tournament title during the 2009-10 season. Iowa's Brent Metcalf led the Hawkeye wrestling team to its third-straight NCAA Wrestling Championship this past season. Phillip Goldberg and the Michigan Wolverines won their fourth men's gymnastics national championship in April.
Metcalf and the Iowa wrestling team won their third-straight conference title this past season, while Michigan softball player Angela Findlay helped bring the Wolverines their third conference title in the past three seasons. Ohio State's Stefan Sigrist was a catalyst in bringing a men's swimming and diving conference championship to the Buckeyes for the first time since 1956. Purdue's Kramer captained the Boilermaker men's basketball team to its first Big Ten Championship since 1996. Lui and the Northwestern women's tennis team claimed the Big Ten Tournament crown for the 12th straight year. Additionally, Illinois cross country and track and field standout Bizzarri claimed the 2009 individual cross country national championship and was named the winner of the women's cross country Honda Sports Award. Metcalf also won national honors by claiming the 149-pound national title in leading Iowa to the NCAA Championship, while Minnesota's Ness claimed the 133-pound championship.
Five Medal of Honor winners garnered Big Ten individual accolades for their performances during the 2009-10 campaign. Illinois' Bizzarri was voted Women's Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year, while Minnesota's Ness garnered Wrestler of the Year honors, and Penn State's Yeisley was named men's soccer Offensive Player of the Year. Michigan State's Allyssa DeHaan was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in women's basketball, while Kramer earned the same award for men's basketball.
2010 Big Ten Medal of Honor winners: